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GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

Top 10 Moments in Jazz History

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10. In 1956, while in the throes of kicking his heroin addiction and late for a gig, Miles Davis picks up a small black snake that had wandered into his Missouri home and--thinking it is just a hallucination--mistakes for a clip-on tie. He completed the gig wearing the snake, which started a trend of Jazz musicians wearing skinny black ties that continues to this day. 9. The Buddie Petit New Orleans Jazz Band are performing in a poorly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Javon Jackson: For You

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Tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson has roots stretching back to the hard-bop forebearers, having served stints with Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard, Cedar Walton, and other luminaries of the lineage. For You is his twentieth release as a leader, and it finds him paying homage to Hubbard ("My Man Hubbard"), McCoy Tyner ("88 Strong"), Pharoah Sanders ("Mr. Sanders"--though really, the vibe is more great-quartet era of John Coltrane than Sanders), and Walton (two tunes by the pianist: “Simple Pleasure" and “Holy Land"). ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dexter Gordon Quartet: Espace Cardin 1977

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Dexter Gordon left us almost three decades ago, but his presence in 2018 has virtually brought him back to center stage. The release of his biography Sophisticated Giant: The Life and Legacy of Dexter Gordon (University of California Press) by his wife Maxine Gordon, and the previously unreleased Dexter Gordon Quartet Tokyo 1975 (Elemental Music) have revitalized interest in one of the most influential early leaders of the bebop movement. Elemental follows up the Tokyo concert release with Espace Cardin ...

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Gerry Mulligan, Adam Price & More

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This week we begin with a profile of a the fresh jazz sounds out of the United Kingdom with The Beats and Pieces Big Band featuring the group's leader Ben Cottrell off their latest commemorative CD simply entitled Ten. It celebrates a full decade of their groundbreaking jazz groove. The hour continues with a mincing of both the old and the new, including legends like Billy May and Gerry Mulligan. The show continues with a highlight of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eric Alexander: Song of No Regrets

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On Song of No Regrets, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander decides to keep things fresh with a Latin beat and a couple unexpected guests. Having worked so prolifically for so long (he's got more than 160 recordings to his name both solo and as a sideman), it's inevitable that Alexander would have more than a few preferred musicians to round out his rhythm section. Rather than sticking with Harold Mabern, who has been his pianist of choice during eight of his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Spanglish Fly: Ay Que Boogaloo!

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Jonathan Goldman sure seems like one interesting dude. An Associate Professor at New York Institute of Technology, Goldman edited the seminal study Joyce and the Law (University of Florida Press, 2017) and leads one of the most famous reading groups for one of Joyce's most infamous works, Ulysses. And as lead trumpet and bandleader for New York's own Spanglish Fly, he's one of the world's leading proponents of the irresistibly liberating rhythms, sounds and beats of Latin soul and boogaloo. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gordon Beck Quartet Featuring Joy Marshall: When Sunny Gets Blue: Spring ’68 Sessions

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For British jazz fans, the late Gordon Beck probably needs no introduction. Beck was undoubtedly one of the best and most undervalued pianists the UK has produced. Joy Marshall, however, is perhaps not so well-known. Born in New York, Marshall moved to England in 1962 at the age of 25, where she resided until her tragic death in November 1968. She married saxophonist Peter King in November 1962, but later became romantically involved with Tubby Hayes, who was smitten by ...

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Monty Alexander Live at BIMHUIS Amsterdam

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Monty Alexander is back to Bimhuis with his trio after his sold out gig in 2013; a fresh opportunity to catch the famous pianist in an intimate setting. Monty Alexander's playing balances jazz, soul and Caribbean styles such as calypso and reggae. As a teenager the pianist moved from Jamaica to New York. He played with Frank Sinatra and Ray Brown and made his breakthrough as a solo artist in the 1970s. Personnel: Monty Alexander ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wolfgang Lackerschmid: Lake Geneva

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Sometimes, scenery just begets beautiful music. In the summer of 1995, vibraphonist Wolfgang Lackerschmid found himself in an idyllic setting on the shores of Lake Geneva. He was there with guitarist Chuck Loeb, bassist John Lee, and drummer-percussionist Marilyn Mazur--a super band of sorts that was assembled for a one-off recording session--and that foursome couldn't have asked for a better working situation. Put up in style for a week, the quartet enjoyed spending time on the lake, indulging in quality ...

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A Conversation with Itai Kriss

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Itai Kriss's new album, Telavana, beautifully combines latin and middle eastern rhythms and melodies in the most uncontrived way possible, highlighting the excellent musicianship of all the players involved. Telavana features Itai Kriss on flute, Michael Rodriguez on trumpet, Cesar Orozco on piano, Or Bareket on bass, Marcos Lopez on percussion, Dan Aran on drums, Yosvanny Terry on shekere, and Tamer Pinarbasi on qanun. Join me and Itai as we talk the album and ...